Paternity

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1. Talk to Attorneys

In most firms it is the staff that handles the bulk of your case. You end up dealing with paralegals, assistants, or clerks instead of the lawyer you signed up with. At Pacific Family Law Firm, assistants may handle paperwork and occasional informational calls, but most of the time you will be working with your actual trial attorney.

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3. Honest Assessment of Case

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Paternity?

Our lawyers are ready to help with your paternity case.

What is Oregon paternity about?

Under Oregon law, the father of a child born out of wedlock has no established parental rights until paternity (determination of the father) is established. Parental rights include the legal right to speak with the child's teachers, to view the child's medical records, participate in conferences with teachers, and far more. Further, unless and until the father establishes paternity, the unwed father cannot enforce a parenting pan with his child under the law. From the mother's perspective, she cannot receive a state-enforced order of child support from the father unless his paternity is first established. These are not issues for the married couple, as legally paternity is already lawfully in place by marriage; the law presumes paternity.

Determining paternity is now straight forward.

Historically determining paternity could be a costly and ultimately uncertain process. In recent years, the availability and improvement of inexpensive and fast DNA testing have changed the process. The definitive determination of paternity is now a matter of submitting a couple of blood or saliva samples. The process is a comparatively fast, inexpensive process with results that establish paternity with near certainty. Alternatively, paternity can be established by using a "paternity affidavit" may be used, where the mother makes a sworn statement acknowledging a man to be the child's father. If parents are working together, this process can be quite fast. If either party is denying or resisting paternity, other procedures that involve court involvement must be used. The process can be confusing, and having experienced legal guidance is essential. Contact an Oregon paternity lawyer today.

A paper cutoout of a family walking into a sunset with a gavel in the background denoting Oregon family law services.

Paternity
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is paternity and why is it important in Oregon?
Paternity refers to the legal recognition of a man as the father of a child. Establishing paternity in Oregon ensures that the child has access to benefits such as child support, inheritance rights, and medical care. It also helps protect the father's parental rights and responsibilities.
How does one establish paternity in Oregon?
In Oregon, paternity can be established voluntarily by both parents signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form at or shortly after the child's birth. Otherwise, it can be established through a court order via genetic testing or other evidence.
Can paternity be established after the father's death?
Yes, paternity can still be established after the father's death in Oregon. Genetic testing may be utilized if samples from the deceased are available. Otherwise, courts may rely on other evidence such as written documents or witness testimony to determine paternity.
What if I want to contest a paternity claim?
If you wish to contest a paternity claim in Oregon, it is crucial to seek legal advice immediately. You will need to provide evidence that challenges the claim or request genetic testing if it has not been done yet. A family law attorney experienced in paternity matters can help guide you through this process.
What if I am not sure if I am the father?
If you're uncertain about your paternity status, do not sign any documents acknowledging paternity until you've sought legal advice or undergone DNA testing. Signing such documents could make you legally responsible for supporting the child even if they're later proven not to be yours.
What are my rights as an alleged father in Oregon?
As an alleged father in Oregon, you have rights such as due process during legal proceedings on establishing your paternity status; seeking DNA tests before admitting responsibility; disputing any claims made against you; and petitioning for custody or visitation rights once your status is confirmed.
Can I request genetic testing in an Oregon paternity suit?
Yes, either party may request genetic testing when trying to establish paternity. If there's already an existing court order on file, you'll need to provide sufficient reason for requesting it. In cases where no determination has been made yet, either parent or even state agencies can request genetic testing.
How does establishing paternity affect child support obligations?
Establishing paternity solidifies a legal relationship between the non-custodial parent (father) and their child which results in them being financially responsible for providing support. Child support obligations are decided based on Oregon guidelines, taking into account both parents' income, the child's needs, and any custody arrangements.


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Useful Oregon Statutes For
Paternity

Ex Parte Temporary Custody Or Parenting Time Orders


ORS 107.097(2)

...

(a) A party may apply to a court for a temporary protective order of restraint by filing with the court an affidavit or a declaration under penalty of perjury in the form required by ORCP 1 E, conforming to the requirements of ORS 109.767. (b) Upon receipt of an application under this subsection, the court may issue a temporary protective order of restraint restraining and enjoining each party from:

(A) Changing the child’s usual place of residence;

(B) Interfering with the present placement and daily schedule of the child;

(C) Hiding or secreting the child from the other party;

(D) Interfering with the other party’s usual contact and parenting time with the child;

(E) Leaving the state with the child without the written permission of the other party or the permission of the court; or

(F) In any manner disturbing the current schedule and daily routine of the child until custody or parenting time has been determined.


Read Full Text: ORS 107.097

Parenting Plan


(1) In any proceeding to establish or modify a judgment providing for parenting time with a child, except for matters filed under ORS 107.700 (Short title) to 107.735 (Duties of State Court Administrator), there shall be developed and filed with the court a parenting plan to be included in the judgment. A parenting plan may be either general or detailed.

(2) A general parenting plan may include a general outline of how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be shared and may allow the parents to develop a more detailed agreement on an informal basis. However, a general parenting plan must set forth the minimum amount of parenting time and access a noncustodial parent is entitled to have.

(3) A detailed parenting plan may include, but need not be limited to, provisions relating to:

(a) Residential schedule;

(b) Holiday, birthday and vacation planning;

(c) Weekends, including holidays, and school in-service days preceding or following weekends;

(d) Decision-making and responsibility;

(e) Information sharing and access;

(f) Relocation of parents;

(g) Telephone access;

(h) Transportation; and

(i) Methods for resolving disputes.


Read Full Text: ORS 107.102

Provisions Of Judgment


ORS 107.105 is a huge statute that provides detailed provisions governing not only the provisions of a divorce or separation judgment but also provisions regarding attorney fees. Rather than quote select parts, the statute may be reviewed in its entirety at the link below.


Read Full Text: ORS 107.105

Vacation Or Modification Of Judgment


(1) The court may at any time after a judgment of annulment or dissolution of marriage or of separation is granted, upon the motion of either party and after service of notice on the other party in the manner provided by ORCP 7, and after notice to the Division of Child Support when required under subsection (9) of this section:

(a) Set aside, alter or modify any portion of the judgment that provides for the appointment and duties of trustees, for the custody, parenting time, visitation, support and welfare of the minor children and the children attending school, as defined in ORS 107.108 (Support or maintenance for child attending school), including any health or life insurance provisions, for the support of a party or for life insurance under ORS 107.820 (Support order as insurable interest) or 107.830 (Physical examination may be ordered);

(b) Make an order, after service of notice to the other party, providing for the future custody, support and welfare of minor children residing in the state, who, at the time the judgment was given, were not residents of the state, or were unknown to the court or were erroneously omitted from the judgment;

(c) Terminate a duty of support toward any minor child who has become self-supporting, emancipated or married;

(d) After service of notice on the child in the manner provided by law for service of a summons, suspend future support for any child who has ceased to be a child attending school as defined in ORS 107.108 (Support or maintenance for child attending school); and

(e) Set aside, alter or modify any portion of the judgment that provides for a property award based on the enhanced earning capacity of a party that was awarded before October 23, 1999. A property award may be set aside, altered or modified under this paragraph.

...


Read Full Text: ORS 107.135

Factors Considered In Determining Custody Of Child


(1) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, in determining custody of a minor child under ORS 107.105 (Provisions of judgment) or 107.135 (Vacation or modification of judgment), the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

(a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members;

(b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;

(c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;

(d) The abuse of one parent by the other;

(e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and

(f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. However, the court may not consider such willingness and ability if one parent shows that the other parent has sexually assaulted or engaged in a pattern of behavior of abuse against the parent or a child and that a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either parent or the child.

...


Read Full Text: ORS 107.137

Proceeding To Determine Custody Or Support Of Child


(1) If a child is born to an unmarried person and parentage has been established under ORS 109.065 (Establishing parentage), or if a child is born to a married person by a person other than the birth mother’s spouse and parentage between the person and the child has been established under ORS 109.065 (Establishing parentage), either parent may initiate a civil proceeding to determine the custody or support of, or parenting time with, the child. The proceeding shall be brought in the circuit court of the county in which the child resides or is found or in the circuit court of the county in which either parent resides. The parents have the same rights and responsibilities regarding the custody and support of, and parenting time with, their child that married or divorced parents would have, and the provisions of ORS 107.094 (Forms for restraining order and request for hearing) to 107.449 (Transfer of proceeding under ORS 107.135 to auxiliary court) that relate to custody, support and parenting time, the provisions of ORS 107.755 (Court-ordered mediation) to 107.795 (Availability of other remedies) that relate to mediation procedures, and the provisions of ORS 107.810 (Policy), 107.820 (Support order as insurable interest) and 107.830 (Physical examination may be ordered) that relate to life insurance, apply to the proceeding.

...


Read Full Text: ORS 109.103

Rights Of Person Who Establishes Emotional Ties


(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (9) of this section, any person, including but not limited to a related or nonrelated foster parent, stepparent, grandparent or relative by blood or marriage, who has established emotional ties creating a child-parent relationship or an ongoing personal relationship with a child may petition or file a motion for intervention with the court having jurisdiction over the custody, placement or guardianship of that child, or if no such proceedings are pending, may petition the court for the county in which the child resides, for an order providing for relief under subsection (3) of this section.

(2)(a) In any proceeding under this section, there is a presumption that the legal parent acts in the best interest of the child.

(b) In an order granting relief under this section, the court shall include findings of fact supporting the rebuttal of the presumption described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(c) The presumption described in paragraph (a) of this subsection does not apply in a proceeding to modify an order granting relief under this section.

(3)(a) If the court determines that a child-parent relationship exists and if the court determines that the presumption described in subsection (2)(a) of this section has been rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall grant custody, guardianship, right of visitation or other right to the person having the child-parent relationship, if to do so is in the best interest of the child. The court may determine temporary custody of the child or temporary visitation rights under this paragraph pending a final order.

(b) If the court determines that an ongoing personal relationship exists and if the court determines that the presumption described in subsection (2)(a) of this section has been rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall grant visitation or contact rights to the person having the ongoing personal relationship, if to do so is in the best interest of the child. The court may order temporary visitation or contact rights under this paragraph pending a final order.

(4)(a) In deciding whether the presumption described in subsection (2)(a) of this section has been rebutted and whether to award visitation or contact rights over the objection of the legal parent, the court may consider factors including, but not limited to, the following, which may be shown by the evidence:

(A) The petitioner or intervenor is or recently has been the child’s primary caretaker;

(B) Circumstances detrimental to the child exist if relief is denied;

(C) The legal parent has fostered, encouraged or consented to the relationship between the child and the petitioner or intervenor;

(D) Granting relief would not substantially interfere with the custodial relationship; or

(E) The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the petitioner or intervenor.

(b) In deciding whether the presumption described in subsection (2)(a) of this section has been rebutted and whether to award custody, guardianship or other rights over the objection of the legal parent, the court may consider factors including, but not limited to, the following, which may be shown by the evidence:

(A) The legal parent is unwilling or unable to care adequately for the child;

(B) The petitioner or intervenor is or recently has been the child’s primary caretaker;

(C) Circumstances detrimental to the child exist if relief is denied;

(D) The legal parent has fostered, encouraged or consented to the relationship between the child and the petitioner or intervenor; or

(E) The legal parent has unreasonably denied or limited contact between the child and the petitioner or intervenor.

...


Read Full Text: ORS 109.119

Services

Pacific Family Law Firm is focused on one area of law: family law. From divorces to child support to spousal support to custody modifications, we're ready to help. Whether your your case has been open for years and is having a judgment modified, or if you have never had an lawyer before and are just figuring out how to proceed with a divorce or other family change, we will take care of you.

Oregon Family Law & Divorce Blog

At Pacific Family Law Firm in Oregon, staying current on the latest developments in Oregon divorce and family law topics is a top priority. Our firm maintains a policy of "information first" for the client, so we make every effort to share information with the public and clients. Our blog covers topics from the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that Oregon family law Lawyers encounter to news headlines that impact Oregon families. If there is a topic you would like to see covered, let us know, and we'll add it to our list of subject matter!

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